When His Plans Are Greater
There is no such thing as a perfect plan other than His plan.
Last week, we celebrated our oldest child, Kennedy’s, 13th birthday. It’s true what they about the days being long and the years being short. Seems like yesterday that our little girl surprised us with her arrival. You see, Kennedy was 7 weeks early. I had no signs of early labor so when my water broke on April 19, 2005, I was shocked! This was NOT our plan at all. There was no stopping this girl though (and if you know her now, she still lives by that mantra). When she was born, she was whisked away by NICU doctors and nurses as she wasn’t breathing on her own. She was placed on a ventilator and in isolation. After a couple of hours, I was finally able to see her, yet I couldn’t hold her. My heart cried out to God as I wondered why he would let our little girl suffer. I had done everything right during my pregnancy. Everything! I even timed my pregnancy to align with my work schedule as a teacher. I ate the right things, took the right vitamins, and had plenty of sleep. The doctors assured me that this wasn’t my fault and these things just happen sometime. Those were familiar words to me.
Ryan and I had been married six years before we decided to have children. We got pregnant on the first try. We put our house on the market to move closer to family. Ryan had advanced enough in his career to provide for our family if I decided to stay at home. Everything was working out just as we planned. You see…I’m not just Type A, but I’m also a perfectionist so that makes me Type A+. We announced our pregnancy in February of 2004 to our friends and family. Ryan moved back to St. Louis to start his job as I stayed in Memphis to finish my job and close on our house. When I was 12 weeks, I went in for my second OB appointment, and they couldn’t find a heartbeat. I couldn’t believe it. I was heartbroken. Not only did I lose our sweet little baby but to me this was the loss of my dream to be a mom. I kept asking my doctor what I could have done differently. And I was told it wasn’t my fault and that things just happen sometimes. The next few months proved to be difficult for me.
I was so angry at God. I was jealous of those who had babies to hold. I was mad at my husband for not understanding how upset I was. I was sad. Just so so sad.
For anyone who has experienced a loss, maybe you had some of those feelings too. When I had my miscarriage, no one wanted to talk about my feelings. I had plenty of well-meaning friends and family offering words of encouragement and women even came forth to tell me it had happened to them too. I didn’t feel alone, but I felt angry. And then I felt guilty for being angry. I spent months wondering if I would ever be a mom. We bought a house that had plenty of bedrooms for babies but I kept wondering if they would remain empty.
Hindsight is 20/20, and I wish I could go back and tell myself so many things during that time. I look back at that year in my life and I know God was working, even though I didn’t see it.
My plans for my children were just that - my plans. His were greater. Because ultimately, my children are HIS children.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." – Jeremiah 29:11
As we watched Kennedy slowly begin to develop in the NICU, we were told that she may have some delays but most likely she would be a healthy girl who would thrive and grow. But the Lord had some pretty amazing plans for our girl. Not only did she thrive but she had no delays and no signs of prematurity at all by the time was 4 months old. In fact, the doctors were amazed at how quickly she rebounded. Truly, she is a miracle.
The planner, perfectionist in me still has a lot of work to do. I struggle to give God control over my life on a daily basis. Even though I recognize God’s sovereignty, I still don’t understand why things have to happen sometimes. If you have experienced the loss of a child, please know that you are not alone. God is walking beside you through this.